IPGA's Policy Governance® Proficiency Program 2018-2019 starts in October

Registration will open in May 2018!  

The IPGA Policy Governance Proficiency (PGP) program aims to provide a high-level understanding of governance in theory, principle and practice.  The curriculum draws strongly on the work of John Carver in creating the Policy Governance system and provides  context through the provision of an understanding of approaches to governance. 

The PGP program leads to a certificate denoting the successful completion of an accredited program designed to provide a high standard of governance knowledge and expertise.   It is accessible from anywhere in the world to English-speaking participants who have a good internet connection.   As an international organization, IPGA aims to offer the program in other languages wherever this can be made possible.

The program aims to meet the needs of those who want to equip themselves to play a leadership role in the application of Policy Governance principles and practice, and the furtherance of governance knowledge more generally.

The Policy Governance® Academy run by Miriam Carver provides the highest level of Policy Governance expertise currently available.  More information about the Policy Governance® Academy can be found at www.policygovernance.com. 

Congratulations to our 2016-2017 PGP program participants!  They are the first ever to qualify for IPGA's accredited Policy Governance® Proficiency certificate!

Paul Goranson pmgoranson@gmail.com
Vicki Hawarden
AGI, The Aspen Group, LLC
Athens Kolias  athens@order4orgs.com
Rob Lewis Rob.lewis@telus.net
Janice Melanson janicemelanson@gmail.com
Frieda McDougall frieda.mcdougall@shaw.ca
Eric Phinney ebphinn@gmail.com
Mitch Seeley mitch@onsideleaders.com
Elaine Vandale  Elaine.vandale@rdc.ab.ca



Consultants, board members and staff who wish to play a leadership role in applying Policy Governance principles and practice and more general governance knowledge in the non-profit, for-profit and/or public sectors.

[Please note that the Policy Governance® Academy run by Miriam Carver provides the highest level of Policy Governance expertise currently available.  More information about the Policy Governance® Academy can be found at www.policygovernance.com.]


Recognition from IPGA, the non-profit community of practitioners, researchers and consultants interested in Policy Governance® and other advanced governance systems, that you have successfully completed an accredited program designed to provide a high standard of governance knowledge and expertise.  You will receive an official certificate and recognition at our annual conference and on our website.


Over the period of October 2018 to May 2019, you will need to attend 9 webinars/discussion groups.  Each session is on a Saturday mornings Eastern time and lasts for 2 hours.  In total, you will need around 5 hours per week for participation in group sessions, individual tutorial time and personal study time. 


Yes, it is, if you are interested in Policy Governance and governance more generally and are:

  • Acting as an internal or external consultant to one or more governing boards
  • A Member/Director of a Governing Board* 
  • A Board Officer on a Governing Board 
  • A CEO who is accountable to a Governing Board 
  • An Administrator on whom one or more Governing Boards rely for high-level support 
*The term “Governing Board” is used above to distinguish boards that have full accountability for an organization from boards that are advisory.
Competencies and Learning Outcomes
The overall competency that the PGP program seeks to develop is the ability to play a leadership role in the application of Policy Governance principles and practice and the furtherance of governance knowledge more generally.  

This overall competency is broken down into sub-competencies and then into Learning Outcomes which are delivered through a curriculum based around seven Learning Units.

The PGP program Competencies and Learning Outcomes are derived from:

  • The latest IPGA Consistency Framework created in consultation with Miriam Carver.  For further information, click here.
  • Consultation with participants in the Policy Governance Academy who are applying to use IPGA's PGP designation (details available from ceo@policygovernanceassociation.org).
  • Consultation with participants in the IPGA Consultants Forums.

The PGP Program curriculum is delivered through seven Learning Units:

Unit 1 - Foundations of Governance

  • The Relationship Between Governance and Society (legislation, regulation, standards and codes – (comply or explain, principles vs rules)
  • The Relationship; Between Governance and Owners and Stakeholders
  • The Relationship Between Governance and Management 

Unit 2 - Theory vs. Principles vs. System/Model Practice

Unit 3 - Policy Creation and Monitoring Architecture

Unit 4 - Governance: Roles, Documentation, Processes, Competencies

Unit 5 - Governing in Action 

Unit 6 - Varieties of Governance Application

Unit 7 - Representing Governance to The World 



The PGP program consists of seven units of learning delivered through:

  • Reading and Writing Assignments
  • Webinars
  • Group Discussions
  • Individual Tutorials 
  • A Final Exam



All Unit Tutors will be persons who have participated in the highest level of publicly available Policy Governance training and have at least 5 years’ experience of supporting Policy Governance implementation in a variety of settings.  

The IPGA Professional Education Committee select tutors for each unit using the following criteria:

  • overall length and depth of experience in supporting Policy Governance implementation
  • variety of experience
  • extent of their Policy Governance education 
  • evidence of teaching skills (highest weighting). 

The PGP program has been accredited by IOEE (Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs) – a UK based body that accredits organizations to deliver qualifications and certify individuals around the world.  


Tuition Fees:

The cost of the PGP program including access to relevant technologies is:

IPGA Members: US$2,950.00 

Non-members:  US$3,200.00 (including a one-year IPGA membership).

Payment Schedule:

Details coming in May.  

Other Costs:

Participants should also allow around $300 for purchase of reading materials.  See more about Reading under Entry Requirements below.

Tax Receipts:

IPGA is a 501 3c non-profit organization and tax receipts can be provided on request.

Cancellation Policy:

Prior to October 31st you may cancel with a full refund less a $150 administrative fee. Between November 1 and January 31st you may cancel without paying the second half of the fee.  No refunds after Feb 1st but 50% of the fees can be applied to the following year's program. 




The PGP program provides the opportunity to network closely with peers and teaching staff.   Tutors will be available throughout their units to answer queries and provide support and will have two one-on-one tutorial/feedback sessions with participants over the course of their unit.  Peer group support will be encouraged through online and offline discussion.  

Tutors and mentors will be provided with guidance about IPGA’s expectations regarding the provision of a positive learning environment  


PGP participants must meet the following entry requirements:

a. Evidence of Ability to Complete the Program:

Before joining the program, all participants must provide evidence of:

i. At least two years’ relevant experience as a board member, CEO, board support (for example board clerk or administrator) or board consultant

ii. Having been actively engaged in developing and operating board processes using Policy Governance

iii. Ability to comprehend and write English to a degree-level standard

b. Reference:

Before joining the program, all participants must provide a name of either a) a board Chair or b) someone who has completed the Carver Policy Governance Academy who is willing to affirm the above.

c. Reading: 

All participants are required to have read the following before the start of Unit 1 of the program:

i. Boards That Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations, 3rd Edition, John Carver 2006, Jossey-Bass

ii. Corporate Boards That Create Value: Governing Company Performance from the Boardroom, John Carver with Caroline Oliver, 2002, Jossey-Bass

If you do not already have these books and are an IPGA member, they may be purchased at a 25% discount through IPGA’s website or accessed through any other bookseller or your local public or institutional libraries. Members please sign in to the IPGA Members Area page. On the right had column click on the  Wiley Bookstore tab to receive the discount.

Most reading materials will be included in your program.  However, you will also need to purchase/gain library access to some books if you don’t already have them.  We are currently negotiating discounts where possible.  Participants should allow around $300.00 for the purchase of materials.  

d. Technical Requirements: 

All participants are required to have ready access to computing resources with sufficient capacity for electronic communications including video-conferencing and video review.   A headset is required for good quality video-conferencing.

Participants will also be required to use a variety of software applications, most notably the PGP Online Learning Center in Moodle, all of which will be provided free of charge.  

e. Agreements

You will also be required to signify your understanding of the nature of the certificate and the use of IPGA copyright course materials.  



Contact: ceo@policygovernanceassociation.org

International Policy Governance Association

5300 Lakewood Road

Whitehall, Michigan  49461  USA

USA Tel: +734-239-8002 x202

Direct Tel: +231 894 0323

USA Mobile: +1 248 770 1865

Fax: +248 814 7151

Skype: mpalmer.treeline


IPGA is committed to the continuous improvement of the PGP credential as a trustworthy designation. The feedback of PGP program participants is essential to this aim.

There will be formal opportunities for participants to provide feedback in the middle of the program at its conclusion.  However, feedback is always welcome and should be sent to the IPGA Professional Education Committee via the Program Director at ceo@policygovernanceassociation.org.

Policy Governance® is an internationally registered service mark of John Carver. Used with permission.  The authoritative website for Policy Governance is www.carvergovernance.com.

© 2017 International Policy Governance Association 

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